BridgePal Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Gravitino on May 13, 2020, 18:31:43

Title: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
Post by: Gravitino on May 13, 2020, 18:31:43
For some weeks I have thought that there will be no more face-to-face bridge until there is a vaccine. This week, Vallance said there may never be a vaccine. Bernard Magee said this morning that he believed club bridge is probably a year away.  We face a near-term future in which duplicate bridge with physical playing cards is impossible.

I was thinking: how about a bridge-playing app to supplement the BridgePal scoring program, in which all players have a tablet, rather than a hand of cards.  They would conduct the auction and play through that tablet, which would be linked to a server in the same room. So long as all the players are in the same room, within WiFi contact distance, they needn't be very close to the opponents or their partners.

Is such an app feasible?
Title: Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
Post by: Gravitino on June 17, 2020, 06:37:56
I am slightly disappointed that no-one has replied on the viability of this idea.

A couple of months has elapsed since I proposed it, and face-to-face bridge looks as far away in the distant future as ever. Bridge holiday companies, for example, face the difficult conundrum of whether (and how) to run holidays booked for September/October of this year in continental Europe. Most likely, the Foreign Office will have by then allowed beach holidays to resume, but there will be no way that face-to-face bridge, a standard component in the afternoons and evenings of these bridge holidays, to be safely run.

A pairs bridge-plaing app would remove any need for playing cards, it could observe the two-metre rule, and yet keep everyone in the same ballroom/conference room, thereby minimising the risk of cheating which is so widely suspected oN online venues such as BBO.
Title: Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
Post by: johng on June 17, 2020, 09:43:36
We certainly don't have time to do any development like this, and I'm not sure that I see the point. A large number of EBU clubs are now running virtual duplicate sessions on BBO, and these work very well. Our development effort since lockdown has been applied to software ( ( that enables the detailed results of these sessions to be extracted from BBO and published on Bridgewebs or Pianola in the same format and detail as club sessions. There is the added advantage that we capture the bidding and play of all boards at all virtual tables and this is included in the upload to Bridgewebs. This means it's now possible to review the bidding/play in Bridge Solver Online - so in this way it's better than when the hands are played with physical cards in the club environment.

In a hotel you could obviously play on BBO when the players are seated in the same room, providing that an internet connection is available, either via the players own mobile data connection, or via a wifi router that has an internet connection. These days, most hotels are likely to have internet access. It needs a director who has the authorisation to run BBO tournaments, and players need to pay a small fee to play in the tournament, just as they would in the club.

I don't know whether there are already any networked bridge playing apps which will work purely over wifi without an internet connection. I will leave this investigation to others.

Title: Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
Post by: Gravitino on July 03, 2020, 22:47:45

Many thanks for the reply. There are many who would argue that BBO isn?t proper bridge, as defined by the laws, because that software will not allow you, for example, to revoke or make an insufficient bid. I believe further that BBO implements the US version of the rules, not the EBU?s. There is a case to be made for having an English bridge engine, and I don?t see why that engine need involve the Internet, just as BridgePal scoring doesn?t use the Internet.

Best wishes

Title: Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
Post by: johng on July 13, 2020, 14:39:20

This could be what you are looking for - ( . It's still under development but is being actively used by Winchester Bridge Club. Read more about it at (

Title: Re: Time for a Pairs Bridge Playing App?
Post by: Red_Kite on August 02, 2020, 18:43:56
Hello Gavin,
Have a look at which is what we are using.

Best regards